“What is my PURPOSE in life?”
“What is God’s WILL for my life?”
“What’s NEXT for me?”
These were the answers to the question:
“What is the greatest question that you have for God at this stage of your life?”.
Earlier this year, I sent out a questionnaire to a few friends who were approaching and over 40 regarding their life as a Christian. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised at the responses. After all, I’ve had the same questions…wondering if I was doing what I was supposed to be doing and if I was living out my own purpose. As rewarding as my careers in training and counseling were, I began to realize that they were only a part of the purpose, but NOT the actual purpose.
I started to think about what this whole “purpose” thing was about.
The word purpose in the Merriam-Websters dictionary is defined as “something set up as an object or end to be attained; intention”.
When I took a deeper dive in, I looked at how the Bible defined the word purpose and as you may or may not know, the Bible can define a word in more than one way. However, most of the Hebrew and Greek definitions all pointed to the idea of advice, counsel and plan.
I noticed that the Bible speaks more about what God’s purposes us to do versus what our actual purpose is.
Isaiah illuminated this thought:
“This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.” (Isaiah 14:26)
“From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.” (Isaiah 46:11)
With that I came to the realization that “my purpose” was not mine at all and in fact paled in comparison to what God had in mind.
Before we can walk fully in the purpose…the GreatBIG life…that God has designed for each of us, we must be about the business of His main purpose…being Conformed Into the Image of Christ!
Being conformed into His image begs us to live with intentionality for Christ everyday.
What did Christ do on Earth?
What was His main purpose?
Simply: To do His Father’s will and to glorify the Father.
This is also our purpose as well. Below are some ways to begin the process of purpose in your life.
1. Surrender and Sacrifice:
Two of the most uncomfortable words in human history. Afterall, who REALLY WANTS to surrender or sacrifice? Not many people. Yes, it’s easy to give away old clothes or items you don’t use anymore to charity. We feel really good about it when we do. But that, my dear, is not sacrifice.
Sacrifice is not just giving up things we could care less about, it is giving up something you cherish, love and desire.
It is saying, “God, I really want a husband, a baby, a new job, a new car, more money, to know my purpose (…you fill in the blank) but I don’t want it more than I want you and your will for my life.”
Romans 12:1 says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Our entire lives are to be sacrificed to God.
The real question is – have you truly surrendered your wants, desires, thoughts, and ideas to God? Or have you been trying to get God to change His mind?
Jesus said “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart.” (Matthew 11:29b).
Just the idea of “MY purpose” can become a source of pride if we let it.
If we aren’t careful, we can allow the purity of purpose in God be tainted by lies of the Devil. Sometimes we take ownership of God’s given purpose in a way that edges God out of relationship with us.
Which is why humility is such an integral part of being conformed into the image of Christ. Learning to be meek and humble in a world of Instagram and Facebook can be difficult. But Christ gave the perfect example. He could have easily become arrogant and prideful because of the miracles He had performed and the praise He had received. But He didn’t, He made a choice to remain “meek and lowly of heart“.
We are presented with the same choice. God has amazing things in store for you, however, you must choose to receive those things with a humble heart and mind. Do what Jesus says…learn from Him.
3. Desire for God
“...your kingdom come, your will be done…” (Matt 6:10) When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, that was apart of the example He gave them.
Your will be done.
But what if His will isn’t MY will?
Am I still going to pray, “your will be done”?
If I pray that, do I really mean it?
One of things that keeps us from being conformed into Christ’s image is that we don’t truly desire His will for our lives. As I’ve mentioned before,
You can’t want anything more than you want God.
Anything that you desire more than God’s will for your life is an idol. And God cannot and will not coexist with an idol (Matthew 6:24a).
If you are struggling with a particular issue or praying for something from God, ask yourself “Do I really want God’s will to be done here or do I want what I want more?“
1 John 5:21 warns us “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”
We all have a calling in life – there is something that we are all individually purposed to do for the Kingdom, but first we must be about the business of being conformed to Christ’s image.